COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

A comparison of various routes and dosages of misoprostol for cervical ripening and the induction of labor

H Y How, L Leaseburge, J C Khoury, T A Siddiqi, J A Spinnato, B M Sibai
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2001, 185 (4): 911-5
11641677

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of different routes of misoprostol administration for cervical ripening and the induction of labor.

STUDY DESIGN: Three hundred thirty women at > or = 32 weeks gestation with a Bishop score < or = 6 and an indication for induction were randomized to 1 of 3 double-blinded groups: (1) 25 microg orally administered misoprostol plus 25 microg vaginally administered misoprostol, (2) orally administered placebo plus 25 microg vaginally administered misoprostol, or (3) 25 microg orally administered misoprostol plus vaginally administered placebo. Doses were repeated every 4 hours until onset of labor or a maximum of 12 doses were given. The primary outcome of the trial was vaginal delivery within 24 hours of the initiation of induction. Secondary outcomes were the time from induction to delivery, need for oxytocin augmentation, mode of delivery, frequency of side effects, and neonatal and maternal outcome. Analysis of variance, chi-square test, and logistic regression were used for analysis.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in maternal characteristics or indications for induction. The percentage of women who achieved vaginal delivery within 24 hours was highest in the vaginally administered misoprostol group: 67% compared with 53% in the oral-plus-vaginal group (P < .05) and 36% in the oral group (P < .05). The median time to vaginal delivery was shorter in the vaginal and oral-plus-vaginal misoprostol groups, 13.5 hours and 14.3 hours, respectively, when compared with 23.9 hours in the oral group (P < .05). The rate of cesarean delivery was lowest in the vaginal misoprostol group (17% compared with 30% in the oral-plus-vaginal group and 32% in the oral group; P < .05). Uterine tachysystole occurred least frequently in the oral misoprostol group (10% compared with 32% in the vaginal group and 34% in the oral-plus-vaginal group; P < .05). Uterine hyperstimulation also occurred least frequently in the oral misopro-stol group (4% compared with 15% in the vaginal group and 22% in the oral-plus-vaginal group; P < .05).

CONCLUSION: At the doses studied, induction of labor with vaginally administered misoprostol is more efficacious than either oral-plus-vaginal or oral-only route of administration.

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